Amtec Hiring Guides

How to Hire Controllers in Sacramento

Amtec Hiring Guides

How to Hire Controllers in Sacramento

Current Environment

Hiring a controller is an important strategic decision. According to Forbes, “controllers keep the company’s financial planning, debt financing, and budget management organized.”

The controller position is a high-profile position. To fulfill the role’s responsibilities, the controller often spends time with employees to find ground-level details in processes and operations that could help optimize the business. Being a very critical role, the eligibility standards for being a controller are very high.

The controller typically reports to the CFO; the roles differ mainly based on perspective, in addition to hierarchical reporting structure. The controller is mainly focused on compliance and historical record-keeping—in other words, their focus is on tactics. Controllers help the CFO plan for the future by way of reporting on performance, past and present.


The history of the field of finance and the recording and management of financial activities dates back to the dawn of civilization. While fiance has roots in scientific fields, such as statistics, economics, and mathematics, it also includes some non-scientific elements that liken it to art.

As the complexity of financial instruments, transactions, stock markets, reporting requirements, and regulation has increased, the need for specialized roles in finance, including the position of controller, has grown.

Will COVID-19 Affect the finance Field?

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected employment and the job market, however, the role of the controller has become increasingly important for companies as they look to recover from the economic challenges experienced in the past year. A controller’s focus on financial analysis of past performance in economic downturns will help identify strategies and tactics to help companies recover.

2021 has seen a mix of responses as economies start to open up once again now that the distribution of the vaccine has increased. There is much to be hopeful about. The role of the controller will play a crucial role in helping economies – big and small – to recover and prepare for the future. 

In fact, with the right talent, preparation and insights, controllers can successfully navigate their company through a crisis—and emerge stronger.

How will Recruiting controllers Help Your Company?

How will Hiring controllers Help Your Company?

The fact that a company is considering the hiring of a controller is a good sign as it shows that revenue is up and the organization’s financial matrices are sophisticated enough to need a high-level money manager.

Hiring a competent controller will literally change your company for the better. A controller is not a bookkeeper or accounting manager, though he or she knows how to do the work required for both roles. Beyond these roles, a controller owns the accounting system of an organization and is responsible for every data point.

The controller knows every number going through an organization’s accounting system and will take ownership of everything on the financial statements. They will know why some expenses increased and why some fell. They know if something’s gone missing. The controller will be part of every big decision because these decisions affect the company’s financial statements. Controllers will impact the organization simply by being all about the numbers – controllers love numbers!

controller Details


Controllers keep the company’s financial planning, debt financing and budget management organized. They set financial rules, including choosing accounting methods and making sure that generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) are followed. Team members in this role are generally responsible for motivating their teams, and ensuring the team produces quality work within set time periods.

Before we get to exactly how to recruit the best controller in Sacramento, here are some of the responsibilities of the job.

  • Monitoring the organization’s overall financial health
  • Managing the finance team
  • Collecting and compiling financial information
  • Establishing corporate bank accounts and credit cards
  • Liaising with certified public accountants (CPAs) outside the organization
  • Developing, implementing, and maintaining internal financial controls
  • Monitoring financial transactions and transaction processing
  • Maintaining the general ledger and providing oversight for company balance sheets
  • Invoice approval
  • Preparing and filing tax returns
  • Preparing forecasts and budgets
  • Overseeing the preparation of monthly, quarterly, and year-end financial statements
  • Overseeing financial reporting

Looking for another position? View other positions we place in Sacramento, California.


Most positions require a Bachelor’s degree, and some require additional credentials, such as a CPA, CFA, and/or an MBA and significant experience in the financial industry (5+ years). Some may be able to use their years of experience to replace the degree requirement. While candidates can complete a degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, Finance, or Accounting, a wide variety of degrees may qualify someone for the role, depending on their previous experience. 

Top Schools – According to US News & World Report rankings.

Top Schools

  • University of Texas at Austin

  • BYU-Provo

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Salary Range

controllers in the U.S.


Total controllers Employed in the U.S.





controller Salary Comparison


In a role that already requires substantial education and both financial and technical acumen, financial controllers are now moving toward executive-level responsibilities; the modern controller will come to be regarded as an essential part of the senior management team.

Given the importance of the controller role, candidates can and should expect to be well compensated for the high levels of responsibility that accompany the job. As long as companies spend and receive money, there will continue to be a place for the controller, especially in mid-large-size organizations.

For more detailed compensation information for a controller in [city-name], download our free compensation/salary report below.


The average annual salary for controllers in California was 157k in 2019. The hourly wage averaged $75.24.

For more detailed compensation information for controllers in Sacramento, download our free compensation/salary report below.

Working in Sacramento

Do controllers consider Sacramento, the state’s capital,  a good city for living and working? Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are recruiting for jobs in the city.

The city is located almost dead center in the diverse geography of California. It’s considered a just-right sized city (not too big, not too small) with just 500,000 residents, making it big enough to offer city life but small enough to not have the overcrowding issues of California’s bigger cities.

As the state capital, there are many more government and public sector jobs, so for those with an eye on working in the government sector or an adjacent industry, Sacramento has more employment opportunities than other locations.

Here are the top reasons for living and working in Sacramento.


    • Sacramento is one of the best cities for employment. Indeed ranked Sacramento as the #5 city in the country for job seekers based on average salary, the unemployment rate, projected job growth, and the local cost of living.
    • Lower cost of living. Although it’s about 5% higher than the national average, it’s less costly than California’s coastal cities. The median sale price for homes reached $460,500,  an increase of 10.9% year-over-year, but much lower than other California metro areas.
    • Recreation: The American River Parkway has more than a dozen parks along the water, and within a couple of hours, you can get your city fix in San Francisco, enjoy Napa’s famous wineries or explore Califonia’s incredible Yosemite.
    • Amtec helps build high-performance teams in Sacramento through its recruitment and staffing services.
    • History buffs love Sacramento. The discovery of gold here in 1848 shaped the future of the American West.

On the other hand, there are a few frequently cited downsides of living and working in Sacramento.


    • The weather. It’s pretty hot in Sacramento, with temps often climbing over 100 degrees in the summer.
    • Crime is a con for the area, although the Sacramento Bee reported that the violent crime rate in the region fell to its lowest level in 35 years during 2019.
    • Traffic. Compared with other cities, traffic is not terrible, but some complain it’s getting worse.
    • Limited public transportation, which contributes to the burgeoning traffic problems.

Current Weather

Not your city? View other cities where we place controllers.

Demand for controllers in Sacramento

Demand for controllers in Sacramento

While the controller’s duties will continue to include accounting oversight, forecasting, and streamlining accounting operations, it will also include business administration, financial planning, and leveraging technology innovations to manage risk and generate value. This makes it an essential hire for many, if not most companies, which is why the BLS projects there will be a higher than average level of growth for the hiring of controllers in the next 10 years.

According to the BLS, the employment of financial managers is projected to grow 15% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the 4% average for all occupations. However, growth will vary by industry.

The supply of candidates and demand for open positions have a direct correlation to a company's ability to hire. Download a free Supply and Demand report for controllers in Sacramento, California below.

How to Hire the Best controllers

Finding and hiring the best controller candidates can save you money right away and well into the future.

The costs of making a bad hire are well documented. The cost can run as much as 30% of the employee's first-year earnings according to the US Department of Labor. Bad hires can cost a whopping $240,000 in expenses related to hiring, compensation, and retention per The Undercover Recruiter. 74% of companies who admit they've hired the wrong person for a position lost an average of $14,900 for each bad hire according to CareerBuilder. These statistics support our long-held position that behavioral questions are the best way to get to know your candidates and past behavior is the best indicator of future performance.

Recruiting Best Practices

The information below comes from the best practices Amtec uses for finding the highest quality candidates.

Defining the Position

When defining the role you are creating, we recommend a position profile to fully evaluate the position you are hiring for. You must decide if the engineer can work remotely or must work in California. If working in Sacramento is essential, make sure you include that in your job posting so candidates can decide how many miles they can commute.

How to Source the Best Candidates

When you are looking to source the best quality candidates for your open positions, make sure you have done the legwork to hire an "A Player". You can do this by making sure your company's perspective is aligned with the current market, you have taken into account the job responsibilities, as well as what type of characteristics you are looking for to fit your company culture. Then proceed to write a job posting to attract high-quality candidates.

Characteristics of controllers

You’ll know that it’s time to hire a company controller when a bookkeeper and a once-a-year tax accountant are no longer going to cut it.  That’s when you need a financial partner who’s helping you look after your company’s money. Your money. When you find that right person, you’ll happily pay them what they’re worth.

There are many highly qualified finance professionals on the job market due to layoffs that occurred in the early months of the pandemic, thus making the hiring outlook for finance professionals quite strong. With a move to remote work, companies are now allowed to cast a wider geographic net, should they have remote work policies in play.

For more detailed compensation information for controllers in [city-name], download our free compensation/salary report below.

How to Screen Candidates

You wrote a job posting, posted the position online, and received a lot more resumes than you’d bargained for! Next comes the enormous task of sorting through those resumes to eliminate the ones that are clearly not a good fit. Now, you have a stack of resumes for candidates who have potential. So how do you go about screening the remaining candidates?

It starts on the phone! As a recruiter, the goal of your telephone screening is to learn more about your candidates. You can confirm that they have the educational qualifications and relevant experience, but you also need to determine if they would fit into your company's culture. To make this job easier, use a system to consistently evaluate results. This way you can equally and objectively compare candidates and evaluate their "soft skills", like communication and thinking process. Download Amtec's Professional Assessment Questionnaire below to help with screening candidates.

Free Professional Assessment Questionnaire

An individually customized questionnaire that helps assess a candidate's competence with written communication skills, thinking processes, and other relevant skills.

How to Interview Candidates

At Amtec, we believe in the power of behavoral interview questions to go beyond the experience and skills listed on the candidate's resume. Although you will want to confirm in the interview that the candidate does indeed have the experience listed on their resume, your assessment needs to go much deeper than that. An interview using behavioral questions can help you determine how well the candidate will fit with your company culture.

Download Amtec's best practices on conducting super effective interviews to find the best candidates and fill your open jobs.

Behavioral Interview Guide

Get the info you need to hire the best controllers

Free Interview Guide